When you think of the tranquil Upper Bavarian town of Prien am Chiemsee, idyllic images straight out of a German homeland film spring to mind: the mountain peaks glistening in the lake, Herrenchiemsee Castle, pure nature, a classic health resort. It's hard to imagine that trendsetters from the fashion capitals of Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and even Berlin make the pilgrimage here to update their chosen wardrobes. But, as is so often the case when appearances are deceptive, you will be disabused here as well.
19 years ago, the likeable entrepreneur Stefan Knappe more than successfully fulfilled his dream of opening his own fashion shop with internationally renowned designers from Plein sud, SLY 010 and Dondup to Belstaff, Matchless and Moschino, not far from Munich. he believes in the creed of “class instead of mass” and wants to sell his customers fashion that not only follows a trend, but also underlines a person's character and invites them to feel good. CREDUM set out for them to personally explore the concept of ADAM/EVE.
As soon as we turn into the priener Seestraße, ADAM/EVE catches our eye! This is not only due to the bright red alfa romeo giulietta from 1976, which is parked in front of the shop, but also to the modern display window concept, which is divided into men's fashion on the left and women's fashion on the right. The design looks clean, well thought out and makes you curious for more. Stefan Knappe has already spotted our shining eyes through the shop window and comes out of the shop in person (despite the freezing temperatures in January, when you don't want to leave the house) to greet us with a firm handshake. It is immediately noticeable that this is not an artificial, trained smile to greet customers, but a warmly meant «Welcome!». The concept of the shop window has also been strictly applied in the store: although many well-known fashion labels are united under one roof, each part seems to be easily combinable. unfortunately there are hardly any shops like this anymore due to the trend towards mono-label stores in the big cities, so as a fashion-conscious man or woman you immediately realize what kind of jewel you are in.
For Stefan Knappe, his business is not just a job, but a way of life. His interest in exclusive design and the highest quality is not only evident in the appealing business stationery or the choice of designers, but also in his very own style, which you can recognize if you take a closer look in the store: “Personally, I prefer sporty elegance. Leather goods paired with funky, fashionable eye-catchers. Of course, the classic type will also find what they are looking for with us. No matter in which direction it goes, "feeling comfortable in your own skin" is the decisive factor in the end". The most appropriate word to describe the passionate owner is certainly "authenticity"! The Upper Bavarian dialect and the uncomplicated manner suggest that Knappe also has his roots here in Prien: "Yes, that's right!" he says and laughs. «I come from Rosenheim, right around the corner, so to speak, and trained as a retail and wholesale merchant. After that, I worked for a well-known sports company in the field for a while before I discovered my passion for fashion. When my mother gave me the opportunity to take over the shop, I naturally jumped at it. As far as selling is concerned: the joy of selling and dealing with new people runs in our family and has also passed on to me. By the way: May I offer you a glass of Prosecco or a coffee?». We don't say no and the boss personally serves us a perfect Italian cappuccino at his own bar, which really invites you to linger and is a blessing, especially for the respective shopping companion. It is precisely such personal moments with Stefan Knappe that make adam & eve so unique and so popular among customers. With this attitude, many a casual customer who visited his holiday home on Lake Chiemsee has turned into a regular customer whose wardrobe now contains many pieces of jewelry from the shop.
After a little refreshment, we set off on a tour of discovery through the clearly arranged shop and would in principle like to take every item into the cabin. The motto is: spoiled for choice! a well-fitting pair of jeans from the Italian label Dondup or current elliot, a fine silk blouse from Plein Sud or SLY 010, on top of that a biker-style leather jacket from Belstaff and you're effortlessly dressed. But Stefan Knappe goes one better with his targeted advice tailored to the customer: "The outfit is pretty cool, I have an idea...". He marches through the shop to the table with the accessories, then over to the shoes and during the round he makes a detour to the currently most popular trend: the ponchos. «Now, please wrap your poncho around yourself. Let's see if you like it». I look at the poncho with the Aztec-like pattern with skepticism. Up to now I always thought that something like that only suits 1.80 meter tall top models. Stefan Knappe doesn't give up: “Just slip on. Sometimes you have to be brave and try. With a piece of clothing like this, the fabric and the entire finish are very important, otherwise it quickly looks like a woolen blanket that you accidentally put on». So all you have to do is have courage and voilà: it looks great! Contrary to my expectations, the poncho doesn't make me look smaller and makes the outfit really suitable for winter. Stefan Knappe also found me black ankle boots that require a gun license and an extravagant cashmere scarf from Henry & christ in Hamburg, which complete the look. In the evening, for example, I can simply put on a blazer instead of the leather jacket and poncho and the transformation has already happened! The fact that a man can advise a woman so well on the purchase and know how to emphasize the chocolate sides is an art. We are therefore particularly interested in what factors Knappe pays attention to when selling: «The wearing comfort is the most important thing! You can tell immediately whether a customer feels comfortable in the item of clothing or not. Some things look great on one person and appear foreign on the other. A man who used to like to wear shirts, V-neck sweaters with leather patches and jeans will not suddenly feel at home in ripped jeans, camouflage shirts and leather jackets. This is a tightrope walk to hit the right note as a seller and possibly only slowly introduce the customer to such trends. That can be a belt made of crocodile or lizard or a couple of casual boots. If something doesn't suit someone, we'd rather advise the customer not to buy it and direct their attention to another fashion item. We don't persuade people to buy, we want the customer to be happy with the piece they've gotten at home and to wear it with pleasure. This is also the secret why we have so many established regular customers or people who may have more limited budgets but prefer to buy two or three key pieces of the highest quality per season.”
The secret of adam & eve is the personal touch, the honest expert advice, the special selection of high-quality clothing and the courage to be different than many other retailers. Stefan Knappe, who started out as a young entrepreneur at the age of 21, also took the plunge into self-employment: “Of course, such a decision always involves a certain risk. But I think determination and feeling for the zeitgeist are the secret. Concentrating on a specific thing, in my case combining high-quality fashion with exceptional service, is in my opinion one of the last chances to still achieve success». "Keep it up!", we from the CREDUM editorial team say and leave with a big smile, one or two shopping bags and the certainty that we'll be back - even just to say hello to the charming entrepreneur. to say - towards home.